Councilwoman says destruction of construction fence around Richmond park hurts the community


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities are looking for several people who allegedly cut down the construction fence surrounding Abner Clay Park. 

Richmond police released surveillance photos Tuesday. They said at least five of the suspects in the photos cut down and rolled up the construction fence that was put up around the park last month to prepare for renovations to the park’s basketball court and pavilion. 

City Councilwoman Kim Gray said Tuesday that she is frustrated. 

“We’ve waited more than a decade for these renovations to happen. We had to scale the plan back, I had to fight to get money in the budget,” she said. 

Resident Iris Smith has visited the park for years and was upset to hear about what happened. 

“People like that need to stop because they are selfish,” said Smith. 

She said the renovations are needed to draw in more residents, especially after Tommie the pit bull’s death

“I’m pretty sure they want to beautify this area because of the memory of the dog and so forth,” said Smith. 

Gray said the people in the surveillance photos are familiar to her and she thinks what they did is intentional. 

“They’re angry. They’ve been posting on Facebook about they weren’t notified, that they were part of the community that wasn’t notified. Notifications went out,” Gray told 8News. 

Crews replaced the fence, which cost more than $2,000. 

“Anybody who stands in the way to delay it and cost us more money is hurting the very community they claim to be trying to help,” Gray said. 

The suspects are wanted for destruction of property, trespassing and possibly attempted grand larceny. Anyone with information is asked to call crime stoppers. 

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